The ants move back and forth, in and out, of a sandy ramp in the sidewalk.
I focus on the ants. Though the old folks, a small skinny couple with dark, tough, wrinkled skin, sit just to the left of us. The woman wears pink pants, dress loafers, and a kids backpack that says, "Jonas Rules". Her shoulder length, curly, white and gold hair, frames her dark brown face. The man wears dress pants with a small silver flashlight clipped to the belt loop and a red t-shirt. He has shiny black, square-toed dress shoes. On his head is a large straw cowboy hat. A closer look reveals the wear and care taken to preserve their nice old cloths.
I can see the old couple wondering what we are about, as we watch the birds and the children with their wide faces, and beautiful giggling eyes. "miss, miss," they hold up a plastic gem encrusted hair clip from their box of goods, "one dollar miss, one dollar."
It's quiet. There’s no one to sell to, so they put down their boxes and climb up on the swings. They play, on the purple slide, orange bars, green ladder, yellow platform, blue swings.
A man, sitting nearby on a bench, talks of work in concrete. His apartment is 1,000 pesos a month, he keeps looking for work. All the builders have their local workers already. They have no work for him.
Juarez, Puebla, Algodones, the bus stops here, #6
The man comes a little closer when they start talking of the border. "it's political" he says, voice hushed.
The red ants don't bother me. The flies, though there are only a few, keep nagging at my back, landing and tickling my neck.
I catch snippets of conversation:
"at least 45 executions I saw the last few days I was there...how you identify? Sometimes you get lucky, but sometimes they're not gonna care and they smoke you right there...they doin' it for no reason like, for a few pesos, they rival with another gang... ladies and girls and all"
"You gonna try to get over the border again?"
"You see, I got to try to sneak across. I got a house over there, my tools. My lady, she's real sick, just had an operation...I got to try to get across and get a job. I want to try to see her before I go back across."
Taqueria, Sopa, pescado, camaron, empanadas
The old man with the straw cowboy hat returns with a bottle of water. I hadn’t seen him go. I notice now, he has a clean, thick, white mustache.
The flies stick to my back. The humidity makes my skin moist. The red ants move swiftly around us as they work. It appears that for them, its as if we are not here.